08/28/2012 02:57 EDT | Updated 10/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Former TV reporter gets 4 years for sexual assault of minor

Former Vancouver television reporter Ron Bencze was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday morning in Surrey for sexually assaulting the son of a family friend.

Judge Robin Baird's decision to hand Bencze a four-year sentence came as a surprise because the Crown was seeking a sentence of two to three years in jail, while the defence was seeking a conditional sentence of 18 to 24 months.

Bencze was arrested in January 2011 and originally charged with nine counts of sexual assault and sexual interference with a minor.

During his sentencing hearing last month Bencze admitted to sexually assaulting the child for a period of seven and a half years, until the child was 14 years old.

Crown lawyers stayed eight other charges against Bencze, which involve two other alleged victims.

Bencze was a reporter with Global TV in Vancouver at the time of his arrest but has since been fired by the organization.